Dear Smiley: Speaking of rabbits and dogs, my younger brother, Mike, tells the story of the time years ago, when he was living in a mobile home in Lafitte (he has done well since, and lives in a beautiful home "down the bayou").
His father-in-law, Albert Desselles, originally from Bordelonville in Avoyelles Parish, kenneled his rabbit dogs (beagles) in a pen in the back of Mike's living quarters.
These dogs had a propensity to "sound off" at night, disrupting my brother's sleep. His solution — hose them down, which stopped the barking.
When rabbit hunting season rolled around, Albert took his dogs out for a hunt. Afterward, when my brother asked him how the hunt went, Albert replied: "Well, the hunt started off good, but then it began to rain, and the dogs immediately stopped hunting!"
Dear Smiley: In high school, my girlfriend had a huge white cat. One evening I mentioned that the cat looked a little dingy. She said it was time for its bath. That sounded like fun, so I offered to help.
We took the cat down in the basement, where they had a laundry sink next to the coal bin and the furnace. (Up north in those days, we heated with coal.)
We got the water ready in the sink, and I was instructed to hold the cat's head and front paws. She grabbed the back feet and we dipped it in the water.
Cats are a lot stronger than they look. The cat jerked its head out of my hand and sank some very sharp teeth into my thumb.
I let go of the feet and it buried a claw in my eyebrow. I ripped the cat off my face, and with blood running down into my eye, I flung the cat into the coal bin. It made a couple of loops and departed for parts unknown, almost coal black.
And thus ended another teenage romance.
Dear Smiley: Last November, my wife and I went on an "old people's bus trip" to Asheville, North Carolina. Leslie Tassin was our group leader.
While on the trip we did a walking tour of some of the downtown area. There is an old church, the Basilica of St. Lawrence. We went inside to tour the beautiful building.
When we entered, there was a registry to write down your name, where you were from, prayers, etc. While my wife was writing in the registry, she noticed that Leslie had signed the book and had written "Geaux Tigers" off to the side.
We think Leslie's prayer was answered with LSU's winning season and national championship.
Slip slidin' away
Dear Smiley: While on the subject of bird feeders attacked by squirrels:
I'm reminded of my late brother Henry, who lived in Lacombe. He was always full of jokes (there was always one in the family).
There were beautiful birds always in his bird feeder, which was parked only about seven feet from his back door.
We used to get a kick out of these critters who tried to go up the pole of the feeder. Henry solved the problem by putting grease on the pole, and you should see the result it caused — like fireman sliding down a pole in a firehouse. It was hilarious.
Dear Smiley: I solved my squirrels and feeder problems by installing a hook in the ground and a small cable attached to the top of the feeder, then to the hook.
I liberally applied bearing grease from top to bottom. Problem solved. I now watch the comical slipping and sliding.
Dear Smiley: I read in the Friday paper with some anxiety that one of the cost-cutting measures suggested for the Baton Rouge Police Department is to have LSU and Southern University contribute more toward traffic and crowd control during home football games.
Sounds like that could be used as a good excuse to raise ticket prices — or, even worse, beer prices!